27 Candidates Automatically Elected to Office

In 27 legislative districts across Florida, candidates have already been elected to the either the Florida House or Senate. That’s because the candidates didn’t draw any competition – automatically sending them to the Florida Legislature. Incumbents were reelected in 25 of the seats, and two newcomers were elected.

One of the newcomers, Democrat Anika Omphroy of House District 95, was elected after incumbent Rep. Barry Russell failed to qualify. The other fresh face is Democrat Joseph Casello in House District 90. District 90 was vacated by Lori Berman, who won a special election for Senate District 31 earlier this year.

There was one race outcome that caught the attention of Andrew Wiggins, Senior Director of Campaigns and Elections at the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“I think the real shocker was Sam Killebrew,” said Wiggins. “His district is considered a swing district, but the Democrats didn’t raise any money.”

Killebrew, the Winter Haven Republican, represents House District 41, which occupies the eastern edge of Polk County. Killebrew’s district has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but no one else qualified.

On the Democratic side, there are three open primaries in the Florida House where only Democrats filed for office and the primary was not closed by a write-in candidate.

Also, on the heels of the #MeToo movement, more women are running for public office than ever before. In total, 75 women are running for the Florida Legislature, ranging across the political spectrum.

Overall, the Florida Chamber is encouraged to see friends and partners on the list of 27. They continue to fight for investments in economic development and champion initiatives for job creation and capital investment, and we look forward to working with all members.

See below for a full list of the 27 candidates automatically elected on candidate qualification day:

           Representatives:

           Ramon Alexander (D)

           Loranne Ausley  

           Kamia Brown (D)

           John Cortes (D)

           Tracie Davis (D)

           Ben Diamond (D)

           Bobby DuBose (D)

           Joe Geller (D)

           Evan Jenne (D)

           Al Jacquet (D)

           Shevrin Jones (D)

           Kionne McGhee (D)

           Sharon Pritchett (D)

           Emily Slosberg (D)

           Richard Stark (D)

           Barbara Watson (D)

           Clovis Watson (D)

 

           Jose Oliva (R)

           Halsey Beshears (R)

           Brad Drake (R)

           Sam Killebrew (R)

           Travis Cummings (R)

           Michael Grant (R)

 

           Senators:

           Audrey Gibson (D) Incoming Senate Democratic Leader

           Lauren Book (D)

Important note…There are four additional incumbents that will likely win their races, given that their only challengers are not of the two major parties. Those candidates include:

           Representatives:

           Bruce Antone (D)

           Danny Burgess (R)

           Cyndi Stevenson (R)

           Jay Trumbull (R)